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Old 12-01-2011, 07:57 PM   #21
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catalytic concerns... don't want to die yet!

Hi Dan,
Here is the photo and yes, the label states catalytic heater (6,000 BTU).

When I get the furnace installed, can the battery stay moderately up with a solar panel charger while the furnace blower is operating? Just curious.

Thanks for your feedback,
TJ

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Originally Posted by TouringDan View Post
TJ

Please post a photo of your heater by the door. It sounds like a catalytic heater. These are unvented, so you need to crack a window to provide some amount of venting if you are going to use it very much. For seriously cold weather, you will need to run the furnace (it is vented). Make sure that it is safe with no holes in the heat exchanger and in good working order. It will probably provide about 3 times the heat of the cat heater, but will run your battery down in short order because of the blower motor.

The first step is to install a co alarm. I bought one at Lowes for less than $20 as I recall. You don't want to sleep in your trailer without one while the furnace is operating. It is also important to have one with a cat heater and operating the stove/oven that are both unvented.

Dan
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Old 12-02-2011, 12:06 PM   #22
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Dan - the current draw is due to the motor of the furnace. On a full battery charge we find that we are nearly depleted by morning after use that starts once the sun goes down. I have two 85 A-Hr size 24 batteries plus 2x120W solar panels. My panels were sized in order to recharge the batteries on a sunny summer day. Winter days are of course much shorter and we do not usually get enough sun to recharge.

So my recommendation is that you'll still need a genset or AC to recharge the batteries if you wish to run the furnace.
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Old 12-03-2011, 07:43 AM   #23
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TJ

Nice stock installation of the cat heater.

I would not plan on camping with the furnace running without AC or a small gen available- unless you want to be cold and have no battery power for lights, etc. I bought a Honda 1,000 watt about 10 years ago, but if I bought one today, I would go for the 2,000 watt size.

Dan
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Old 12-25-2011, 09:13 AM   #24
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Winter tires. Snow towing. In sierras

I have a ML 350 I tow a 2007 safari 23 LE and am trying to decide how best to trailer in heavy snow.

Studs/no stud

Chains. All four
All four and trailer

Also am thinking of tandem trailering with snow machines on rear.

Any experiences out there ?
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Old 12-25-2011, 01:04 PM   #25
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There is an RV park just a few miles from the lifts at Sun Valley that stays open all year. Quite a few people over-winter there. The name of the place is The Meadows.
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Old 12-26-2011, 05:51 PM   #26
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No experience trailering in heavy snow, but I have lived in snow country most of my life. I would have studded snow tires on all wheels (if legal and available) or chains depending on how far you are driving in the snowy conditions. Let us know what you decide and how well it works.

Dan
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Old 12-30-2011, 01:17 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Msundheim
I have a ML 350 I tow a 2007 safari 23 LE and am trying to decide how best to trailer in heavy snow.

Studs/no stud

Chains. All four
All four and trailer

Also am thinking of tandem trailering with snow machines on rear.

Any experiences out there ?
While studded tires are legal, they are not a substitute when chain requirements are set, at least here in CA. When towing a trailer, you need chains on all drive wheels on the drive axle, which means 4 chains for a dually from what I gather on the Catrans site (chains, not cables as they can and do snap under load in heavy snow). In addition you need chains on both wheels on one axle on the trailer; cables or chains are OK. Remember 25 mph is your max speed.

I have pulled over the west entrance to Yosemite in a blinding blizzard, middle of night no worries with chains. As for the tandem rig, I would caution against on two fronts:

1) Not sure the Airstream rear end is strong enough. There are threads which advise against adding a hitch receiver to the rear of the trailer.
2) it would seem that by adding a couple thousand pounds of snow toys you might exceed the Gross Combination Weight Rating which is a bad no-no, made worse on snow.

Best of luck!
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Old 01-03-2012, 06:23 PM   #28
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One more point to add; from signs posted on the snow bare Sierra Nevada mountains, big rig tandem trailer combinations seem to be prohibited in chain control area.

Chris
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Old 12-31-2012, 11:25 PM   #29
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Ski camping
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Old 01-01-2013, 05:03 PM   #30
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Ski camping
Wow! Where is this?? Looks like excellent ski in ski out!!
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Old 01-01-2013, 06:46 PM   #31
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New Year's eve at Schweitzer. I actually got the idea to take it skiing from your blog! You have an excellent site and great photos.
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Old 01-01-2013, 07:14 PM   #32
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New Year's eve at Schweitzer. I actually got the idea to take it skiing from your blog! You have an excellent site and great photos.
We spent labor day weekend at Schweitzer.

Hiked to the top and was drooling over that backside terrain. You keep the tanks dry?

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Old 01-01-2013, 08:23 PM   #33
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The skiing conditions were awesome for this time of year. Last week, they were phenomenal---powder everywhere.

I thought about dewinterizing the trailer, but in the end, just used the facilities in the lodge. Worked out just fine. Temperatures were in the low teens at night and the trailer was nice and warm. I may just use the black tank next time with a load of water in the 'blue' container while leaving the rest of the trailer winterized next time.
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Old 01-02-2013, 10:36 AM   #34
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New Year's eve at Schweitzer. I actually got the idea to take it skiing from your blog! You have an excellent site and great photos.
What a nice thing to say Happy we could inspire you. I showed this picture to hubby last night and we both had to do a double take, very nice!

Schweitzer is now on our list!!
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Old 01-15-2013, 05:31 PM   #35
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We are gearing up for a 10 day trip to Idaho for some skiing with our Airstream. Pretty excited about it -- we think winter time is the best time to Airstream.

I just posted a new story on J5MM about our past and future travels if anyone is interested in reading. A Winter Wonderland Just 5 More Minutes

Happy winter streaming
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Old 01-15-2013, 06:59 PM   #36
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I love your blog, and am also interested in winter camping. You don't have any issues pulling your AS thru a lot that's covered in compact snow and ice? Does it pretty much perform just like a dry street if you go easy?
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Old 01-16-2013, 06:50 AM   #37
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I love your blog, and am also interested in winter camping. You don't have any issues pulling your AS thru a lot that's covered in compact snow and ice? Does it pretty much perform just like a dry street if you go easy?
I have winter camped (dry) and really enjoyed the challenge. I have not winter trailered. I would not attempt to do this without chains for the TV and for the Airstream.

Dan
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Old 01-22-2013, 01:05 PM   #38
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I love your blog, and am also interested in winter camping. You don't have any issues pulling your AS thru a lot that's covered in compact snow and ice? Does it pretty much perform just like a dry street if you go easy?
Thank you Btowntincan -- I asked my hubby to respond to your question since he is the one who tows. Here is his response:

No it does not perform like towing on a dry street.
I have been driving in all different snow conditions for over 40 years.
All different types of snow conditions can create different challenges.
In slushy snow you are inconsistently hydroplaning. Drop your speed appropriately for those conditions.
There are some kinds of icy conditions where you have little or no control. Do not drive in those conditions. Stop at the nearest rest stop or parking lot and wait it out.
Deep fresh lighter snow is manageable and is better snow to drive in than the former two types of snow conditions. Drop your speed appropriately.
If you have to drive in snow, compact snow is preferable. Drop your speed appropriately.
It is a benefit if the department of transportation is plowing and sanding the roads. Do not let this give you over confidence.
If you are approaching a mountain pass or hill with little or no shoulder to pull off onto, chain up well before entering the steeper grade.
Avoid driving at night in snow and ice conditions.
When driving an RV or towing a coach in severe winter conditions drive slower, leave lots of room between you and other vehicles, travel in the right hand lane, don't lock up your breaks even if they are ABS, never spin your tires, and carry chains.

Think Snow,

Jeff
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Old 01-26-2013, 09:52 AM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J5MM View Post
Thank you Btowntincan -- I asked my hubby to respond to your question since he is the one who tows. Here is his response:

No it does not perform like towing on a dry street.
I have been driving in all different snow conditions for over 40 years.
All different types of snow conditions can create different challenges.
In slushy snow you are inconsistently hydroplaning. Drop your speed appropriately for those conditions.
There are some kinds of icy conditions where you have little or no control. Do not drive in those conditions. Stop at the nearest rest stop or parking lot and wait it out.
Deep fresh lighter snow is manageable and is better snow to drive in than the former two types of snow conditions. Drop your speed appropriately.
If you have to drive in snow, compact snow is preferable. Drop your speed appropriately.
It is a benefit if the department of transportation is plowing and sanding the roads. Do not let this give you over confidence.
If you are approaching a mountain pass or hill with little or no shoulder to pull off onto, chain up well before entering the steeper grade.
Avoid driving at night in snow and ice conditions.
When driving an RV or towing a coach in severe winter conditions drive slower, leave lots of room between you and other vehicles, travel in the right hand lane, don't lock up your breaks even if they are ABS, never spin your tires, and carry chains.

Think Snow,

Jeff
Jeff

Thanks for the great tutorial on driving and towing in winter conditions. It is spot on.

Dan
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Old 01-28-2013, 10:09 AM   #40
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Thanks for the advice!
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